Did You Know?
Patent applications begin life as private, confidential communications between the inventor and the Patent Office (USPTO). If continued, patent applications are published (with a few exceptions) 6 months after the Non-Provisional stage. Published patents are freely available, and easily found online.
In 2017, 10 WHOI patent applications published:
Each year WHOI PIs (Principal Investigators) compete for Proof of Concept Research Funding in the WHOI Pitchathon- a competition similar in format to the popular television show “Shark Tank.” Each are given ten minutes to make their pitch followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from a panel of four judges. This year’s competition is slightly different – in that each of the 5 teams applying for funding was matched with a qualified volunteer Business Advisor, or team of Business Advisors, who helped with everything from market research support to the final review of presentations- all in order to support WHOI PIs in their work toward commercialization. Presentations are set to take place October 10th and although not open to the public, fellow applicants, as well as Business Advisors, have been invited to attend any/all presentations.
A review of this year’s pitches, as well as an announcement of the winners, will be posted here in late October.
Want to learn more about previous years’ winners? Click through some of the following links for more information:
More information on funded projects, as well the competition, can also be found in our annual reports and quarterly newsletters- see links to the right of the News & Events page. Be sure to Subscribe to News & Events for OTT updates.
This October- WHOI is celebrating Innovation Month with a series of events for WHOI staff & innovators. WHOI staff- be sure to check the weekly WHOI Headlines for updates on upcoming events.
WHOI Innovation Month Calendar:
October 3rd: 11am – DunkWorks Tours open to WHOI staff – No RSVP required
October 10th: 2-6pm – WHOI Pitchathon- Limited Seats Available/Invitation Only
October 17th: 11am – DunkWorks Tours open to WHOI staff – No RSVP required
October 19th: WHOI OTT Inventor’s Recognition Event- Invitation Only
October 30th: 12-1pm – Redfield 204 – SBIR Lunchtime Seminar- Open to all WHOI staff
Applying for and obtaining intellectual property rights is a serious endeavor- it’s ordinarily neither a short nor easy process. Currently, the average time to obtain a U.S. patent is 24.5 months (what the USPTO calls “total pendency”), however, the time can vary greatly. Among all of WHOI’s filed patents, three tie for shortest time to patent, each taking a mere 20 months.
1. “Mechanical tether system for a submersible vehicle” by Robert McCabe, Andrew Bowen, and Matthew Heintz
2. “Systems and methods for tethering underwater vehicles” by Andy Bowen, Louis Whitcomb, Dana Yoerger, and Robert McCabe
3. “Sensor system for environmental impact monitoring” by Paul Fucile, Glenn McDonald, Edward Hobart
Congrats to all of WHOI’s speedy inventors!
Fun Fact: In 2015, Patent # 8,947,977 “Fusing arrangements” finally issued, FORTY-ONE years after being filed in 1974! The patent is for a system of arming a warhead and preventing premature detonation. Because of how long ago it was filed, the patent still enjoys 17 years from grant date. It won’t expire until 2032!
July 20-21, 2017 – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
For the third year, WHOI’s Center for Marine Robotics is holdings it annual Forum to highlight marine robotics-related entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies at a Technology Showcase (7/20) and a discussion-based Leadership Forum (7/21). There is plenty of networking time spread throughout the two days. This year during the Forum, we are opening DunkWorks, our new rapid prototyping center and additive manufacturing facility with a visit by Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito on the morning of 7/21. The Forum sells out every year. Join us!
More information and the registration link can be found at: www.whoi.edu/marinerobotics
The TechNET Spring 2017 Newsletter is now available on our News & Events Page. Stay informed on OTT happenings including new technologies, events & projects as well as licensing and patent news.
If you would like to receive emails when OTT newsletters, annual reports, news, & events are published – remember to subscribe in the bottom right of the News & Events page!
OTT is looking for experienced business professionals to help mentor WHOI Scientists and Engineers.
Each September OTT hosts a Shark Tank competition – also called the Translational Research Funding Program (TRFP). The objective of the TRFP is to provide internal funding for the production of commercial prototypes for gathering market relevant data for commercially promising technologies. Applicants are required to make a pitch on their technology to a panel of experienced business professionals, and the winning team is awarded money to advance their technology. Awardees must meet their promised milestones in order to be eligible to apply again the following year.
Our experience in the last two years has indicated Shark Tank applicants could benefit from a better understanding of the value proposition and market opportunity associated with their technology. In order to improve the competitiveness of every pitch – OTT will be revising the application process for 2017. Under the new procedure, Inventors will need to submit a preliminary checklist application form well in advance of the final deadline. The checklist will be used to match applicants with Mentors and to help assess market potential. Applicants will be provided with a template for their pitch presentation, and Mentors are expected to assist with basic market research for their technology, and to polish the pitch.
OTT Mentors Rusty Warren and Stan Kovall are coordinating the Shark Tank 2017 process revision and are currently looking for Mentors interested in assisting with pitch presentations & market research. Volunteers will need to be registered Mentors & Champions via our website and have provided an up-to-date resume. Interested Mentors will be required to attend a Mentor training session where we will go over the TRFP, as well as help Mentors to better understand WHOI’s unique culture.
If you are interested please register to be a mentor via the online form.
If you are already a registered Mentor – no need to re-apply- we have your resume on file. Feel free to send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your specific interest in the Shark Tank.
Future opportunities will be announced here as they arise. Subscribe at the bottom right of the news & events page to receive news & updates from WHOI OTT.
A new Oceanus article discusses a mooring that utilizes EOM Offshore’s Stretch Hose Technology to detect endangered whales in the busy shipping lanes of New York Harbor.
To learn more about the technology, check out a recent article published in Wave and Tidal Energy Network on Electromechanical Mooring Stretch Hoses and head over to EOM Offshore’s website for information on their mooring components.